Thursday, September 25, 2008


Carly Simon
Great Western Philosopher

I do most of my writing in my head as I go about my fascinating day of emptying the dishwasher, folding clothes, and driving children to a myriad of activities. That's why this particular blog is ironic because it's going to be about the value of living in the present moment...which is exactly what I'm not doing if I'm writing in my head while pretending to listen to my daughter tell me a story about the dream she had about the pony.....blah blah blah. What did you say?

At the yoga retreat I attended last year the instructor said, "The body is always in the present but the mind is almost always in the past or the future. Yoga tries to bring your mind into the present." Most yoga instructors remind us that the word Yoga means "yoke" or unity--bringing together the mind and the body.

It is a noble goal. Hey are you paying attention or is your mind wandering to your TO DO list right now?

Eastern religions are big on this concept. If we never live in the moment we never live. We are the only creatures on earth who have the ability to think about the past and the future. We seem to be too good at it. A dog doesn't do that. A dog is always in the moment. Stop thinking about your dog now, and pay attention to this moment.

Carly Simon a great Western philosopher first introduced this idea into my consciousness in her song "Anticipation" in which she so accurately addresses this notion:

And I tell you how easy it feels to be with you And how right your arms feel around me But I, I rehearsed those lines just late last night When I was thinkin' about how right tonight might be

And tomorrow we might not be together I'm no prophet and I don't know nature's ways So I'll try and see into your eyes right now And stay right here 'cause these are the good old days

These are the good old days. No matter where you are in life. For my contemporaries that means these are the good old days, not ten years ago when our babies were babies and not ten years from now when they are grown and out of the house but now. Right now when their noisy, dramatic, teen and tween aged selves are banging in and out of our door, eating all the food in the house, and leaving towels all over the floor (what is with those towels?)

So today, as you drive around town or sit at your desk or help your kids with their homework or yes, fold the damn laundry, try to be in the moment. Think about what you're doing. Get off the cell phone, quit trying to write your next blog, or fiddling with the radio. Just drive. Roll the windows down. Enjoy the fall day and its sounds and sights. Stop making dinner and cleaning the kitchen while your kids do homework. Stop and look at your child as she struggles with her vocabulary words. Don't try to catch up on the fascinating world of celebrities on Entertainment Tonight while you fold the towels. Just fold them and feel how great it is to have a clean towel between your hands and enjoy the fresh smell.

Today, tell your mind you're not going to travel forward or backward. You're going to be in the moment.

As another great Western philosopher, Natalie Merchant says: these are the days you'll remember

Monday, September 15, 2008


Remind me, is a rain poncho cool when you're in high school?

Atticus is a freshman this year and we are horrified to find ourselves re-living our high school years vicariously. Last Friday he wanted to go to the football game. He was meeting some friends there so he needed a ride. As we drove, Jeff cheerfully recalled his years of playing on the old gridiron, and I talked about being in the marching band as we shared a tiny bit of the excitement of a Friday night football game. It started raining and this was cause for alarm for Jeff. The following conversation ensued:

Jeff: Hey it's raining, do you want to take one of my umbrellas?
Atticus: (can't respond he's laughing so hard)
Me: Good Lord! Would you have taken an umbrella to a football game?
Jeff: (Catching himself) Oh, right, no one has an umbrella. Well, do you want me to stop at Walgreens and we'll get a rain poncho?
Me: (Laughing too hard to speak)
Atticus: Dad! A rain poncho?
Jeff: (Thinking he's used the wrong word) Oh, you know a slicker.
(Atticus and me, now doubled over laughing)
Atticus: Dad, I'm pretty sure no one has worn a slicker since 1952.
Me: You might as well offer him some galoshes or rubbers.
Jeff: Okay, okay
Me: So, you're meeting some friends in the marching band?
Atticus: Yeah. They said the band parents put up caution tape around the band so the non-bandies can't try to mingle with them.
Jeff: Oh, yeah, that's a real concern. People rushing the marching band.
Me: Caution tape? Like it says "caution, band nerds"?
Atticus: I have no idea what those crazy parents are worried about. But I'll just sit on one side of the tape and Joanne will be on the other.


Jeff: Okay,where should I drop you?
Atticus: Here's good. (opens door as it begins to rain harder)

We watch as he lopes off into the rainy night, coatless, outlined by the giant lights of the football field. Two girls wearing not enough clothing with their lovely lady humps hanging out walk past the car and I resist the urge to shout "Stay away from my little boy you whores!"

We drive off, heading to our favorite restaurant for a martini and a steak. We'll valet park and stay nice and dry while Atticus gets soaked in the stands watching a game he doesn't really care for and eating a hotdog sitting next to Joanne with caution tape between them.

It's no contest: he'll have a hell of a lot more fun than we will.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Mom: That looks like a pimp car (observing really old Cadillac in the Target parking lot with very un-pimplike old man at the wheel)
Lilly: What's a pimp?
Mom: A pimp is a man who is the boss of prostitutes. Prostitutes are women who sell their bodies for money. And pimps dress a certain way, umm, like with hats and lots of jewelry...
Dad: And we know this from watching TV
Mom: Yes, (realizing she has NO idea what she's talking about) there's that one, in that show...
Dad: Starsky and Hutch
Mom: Yeah, his name was, Pookie, or something like that.
Atticus: Huggy Bear (he's seen the movie version)
Dad: No, he wasn't a real pimp he was pretending.
Mom: No, I think he was a real pimp but he was an informer.
Dad: Oh, yeah maybe. He was always talking to the one guy....
Mom: Yeah, wait, what were the names of those two lead guys in that show?
Dad: Umm, what were their names?
Atticus: That would be Starsky and Hutch.
Mom: (laughing hysterically at herself) OH MY GOD I CANNOT BELIEVE I JUST SAID THAT
Atticus: (with pitch-perfect teen exasperation in his voice) Morons.